USD Approves SAT/ACT Test-Optional Procedure for Future Admissions

The University of San Diego (USD) has joined hundreds of higher education institutions around the country and adopted an optional-testing admissions process. Beginning with the entering class of 2021, first-year applicants will be able to choose whether to have the results of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Testing (ACT) considered in their application.

If students choose not to have their SAT or ACT scores considered, USD Admissions will rely on other components of the student’s application which includes a high school transcript, essay, personal statements, activities, accomplishments and letters of recommendations.

The optional-testing decision comes after a university committee studied the impact that standardized testing has on admissions decisions, and whether the standardized tests added value to those decisions. In their report, the committee felt that “standardized tests do not measure for a wide variety of other skills and behaviors that are necessary for college success and readiness.”

“This is another example of USD aligning its admissions practices with its mission and enrollment goals. We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive community of students who want to make a difference in the world and we want our applicants to be able to showcase their gifts and talents in a variety of ways,” said Stephen Pultz, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment.

The optional-testing decision was not based on the current pandemic nor its impact on the availability of testing. This decision, however, is timely in that it will help ease the concern of high school students who have been unable to adequately prepare for their exams.

The university will follow recommended guidelines to ensure the success of this new process is in line with the university’s mission.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Elena Gomez
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